10 together: coffee with the women of the FASS leadership team
On Wednesday 8 March, 10 women of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) leadership team got together to commemorate International Women’s Day. The event was hosted by Louise Power, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager for the Guildford School of Acting (GSA).
The panel consisted of Professor Annika Bautz, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Executive Dean of FASS; Professor Rachel Brooks, Associate Dean, Research and Innovation; Professor Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, Head of School of Law; Ruth Gill, Director of Faculty Operations; Professor Amelia Hadfield, Head of Department of Politics; Karen Hearty, Faculty Finance Manager; Professor Emma Mayhew, Associate Dean (Education); Dr Catherine McNamara, Head of Guildford School of Acting; Professor Patricia Pulham, Head of School of Literature and Languages; and Professor Iis Tussyadiah, Head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism.
At the start of the evening, guests were asked to answer one poll question: ‘What single factor most helps women to build rewarding careers?’ which generated a live word cloud:
The discussion started with panel members talking about their backgrounds, and their different paths that led them to where they are now. Some knew exactly where they wanted to be, others followed their dreams, and some fell into their career almost accidentally. The conversation then shifted to what is it like working in a Faculty leadership team where the majority are women and what makes FASS a good place for women leaders.
This led to a wider discussion about whether this group of women leaders developed a culture which supports female leadership in FASS or whether that culture was already there before they stepped into their roles. The women acknowledged the contribution of men on the FASS leadership team towards the supportive and encouraging culture. The group concluded that good leadership and supportive culture does not stem from gender, but from the willingness to support each other irrespective of gender.
"The group concluded that good leadership and supportive culture does not stem from gender, but from the willingness to support each other irrespective of gender."
It was great to hear our women leaders’ views on how they, and other women, can support each other in their paths to more senior roles within FASS, and what it takes to be successful in the world of higher education.
The audience then heard what advice the panel members would give to their younger selves, which was really gripping and inspirational!
Prof Rachel BrooksProfessor of Sociology and Associate Dean, Research and Innovation (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)
Prof Amelia HadfieldDean International, Head of Department of Politics, Founder and Former Co-Director of the Centre for Britain and Europe (CBE)
Prof Emma MayhewPro-Vice-Chancellor, Education (interim) Professor of Pedagogy in Politics and International Relations
Prof Patricia PulhamHead of the School of Literature and Languages, Professor of Victorian Literature